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SCOTT JAGOW: Today’s a big shopping day. Especially for back to school things. I remember going to the store to pick out my Trapper Keeper. Do they still make those? Well, one thing I do know is that it’s a lot more expensive to get kids ready for school now. Here’s Amy Scott:
AMY SCOTT: Not so long ago a kid headed back to school with a few new outfits, some notebooks and pencils, and maybe a box of Kleenex for the classroom. No longer.
Today’s students want cell phones, laptops and MP3 players. And their teachers want them to bring calculators, Post-Its, and antibacterial soap. Retail analyst Richard Hastings says parents often feel they have little choice.
RICHARD HASTINGS: Back to school has a lot of mandatory social conformance involved in it. Kids do expect to have the kind of brands that the other kids want to see, and they put a tremendous amount of pressure on parents. And parents will do whatever they have to do to figure out how to fund it.
The National Retail Federation says that pressure will cost the average family $527 this year, almost 19-percent more than last year.
In New York, I’m Amy Scott for Marketplace.
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